First published in The Times, Wednesday December 7 2016
For the first time in ages, Scotland’s new writing theatre has opted to present a family show as their main stage Christmas production. Yet, while the horsebox that sits centre stage contains much to keep younger audiences agog, there is an air of nostalgia to this inventive adaptation of Anna Sewell’s evergreen children’s tale that will also comfort those of a certain vintage.
First published in The Times, Wednesday June 1 2016
The Story of the Little Gentleman: Four Stars
Tales of a Grandson: Four Stars
It must be that time of year again. Sunlight is streaming into the grand gallery at the National Museum of Scotland. Storytelling events, workshops and even a puppet-led yoga class are taking place in various corners of the building. At one end of the foyer a band is just striking up for the latest in a series of gigs for families entitled Sprog Rock! Clearly, the annual Imaginate festival of performance for children and young people is well underway.
First published in The Times, Wednesday April 20 2016
The latest production from Puppet State Theatre Company is adapted from a little-known short story by JRR Tolkien. There’s a caveat, though. As Richard Medrington, the performer, points out in his preamble to a packed audience at the Festival Theatre Studio, this show contains “no wizards, elves or orcs.”
Doubtless this news will disappoint some lovers of Middle Earth, but the author of The Hobbit isn’t the only reason to get excited about this production. Puppet State’s previous show, The Man Who Planted Trees, scored a huge critical and popular success when it debuted ten years ago, and the company has spent much of the decade since touring the show around the world.